About Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, now known as Hluhluwe-uMfolozi Park is the oldest game reserve in Africa. 25,000 hectares of the park were set aside as a ‘wilderness area’ in the 1950s thanks to conservationist and Ranger Ian Player.
Originally a royal hunting ground in the Zulu Kingdom, the site was also the place of legendary battles fought by Shaka’s lieutenants.
It holds a prominent place in Zulu history and is one of Kwazulu-Natal and South Africa’s top wildlife attractions.
River beds, hilly slopes with valleys through to mountainous regions. Rising from sea level to a height of 540 meters.
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the only state park in Kwazulu- Natal where where you can find the big 5: Lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. The white rhino population is the largest in the world.
But there’s much more to see with over 86 special species including Nile crocodile, hippo, bushpig, nyala, snakes and lizards.
The reserve has a diverse population of over 300 birds. Birders have the chance to see Longclaw, Temmink’s Courser, Black-bellied Korhaan, Klaas’s Cuckoo and Crested Barbet.
Booking and information
Options include a full day, half day and 3 hour drives to suit your itinerary. Speak to us about your needs when you book, on arrival or nearer the time – that way we can let you know what the weathers doing and provide local game reports too. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is approximately 30 minutes drive from Umkhumbi Lodge.
You’ll find it’s best to meet your open safari vehicle at the game reserve itself – Saving you from getting blown about in the chilly temperatures at 5am! Your guide will arrange the tickets at the gate as you transfer your binoculars and camera gear from your car to your game vehicle – don’t forget your breakfast packs!
There is no need to book to enter the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and Umkhumbi’s only a 30 minute drive away! Just pay your entry at the gate and you are free to explore. Take one of our maps with you (you’ll get a full brief on where’s best to go).
Meals for long days
Want to get to the park as it opens at 6am? Take one of our homestyle breakfast packs for you to eat at your leisure in the park – You’ll find plenty of fantastic picnic sites, or you could even eat them as you wait for the elephants to cross the road.
Where to stay
Either within the reserve or take your pick from a good cross selection of nearby accommodation. Staying outside of the main reserve allows you the freedom to explore everything Hluhluwe and it’s surrounds have offer – and the accommodation choices are so much more affordable.
If you’re travelling in open game vehicles, wear layers to stay warm to and from the park. It warms up later in the day – bring a bag to put your extra layers into!
The game vehicles have a roof to keep light rain and the sun off, but there are no sides. Waterproofs are recommended (they will help keep the wind off when travelling as well). Most importantly, don’t forget your sun cream and insect repellent.
Walking Safaris in the Wilderness Area
Is a drive in the park to tame for you? Looking for something more memorable? How about an overnight wilderness trail in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi reserve? – You must book in advance as availability is limited. Please contact us by email for full details and availability.
Don’t miss visiting The Centenary Centre
In Imfolozi on the eastern side of the reserve – A great place to stop for lunch or just a break. Enter the large rondavel (round house) filled with many different curios, or pick up hot food, drinks and ice creams from the cafe. There’s also game capture bomas (enclosures). These don’t always have animals in them, but you may be lucky and see a Rhino or antelope. The centre was established to allow visitors to view animals in transit to their new homes.
Visitors pay a conservation fee of R110 (subject to change) per person per day (children 50%) replacing entry fees. South Africans get a 50% discount.
See what you might find on your Safari.